This is #2 of 2 articles (along with many others) I’ve written on the mash-up of feeling behind in life, being creative in ways that are quirky, and struggles with self, career, and sometimes other aspects of life. I’ve worked with lots of uniquely creative individuals who have struggled to create a fulfilling, satisfying career path in which they can grow and personal life which feels enriching.

If you missed Part #1 here it is. Falling Behind? Tips For Late Bloomers and Unconventional Creatives

You can do this with the right kind of career coaching and guidance.

A Necessary Mix. You may not know this yet, but as an Unconventional-Creative, you also have a sensitivity that may sound counter-intuitive. It’s a high need – combining traditional life basics such as responsibility, systems, structure, goal setting, and accountability, follow-through that is not stifling but rather supports your desires.
At the same time, you need enough of the spicy, wacky, spontaneous, off-the-wall, or unusual life elements and people that keep you from drifting.
If you don’t know you need both responsibility and some pizzazz, but in a nice mix, you may choose relationships that derail or bore you. You may choose work or outlets that have no focus and drain you. The high-potential, high-achieving, highly motivated you will come across as unfocused, unmanageable.
Balancing Inside – Outside. Since unconventional-creatives frequently experience and live in extremes, you may need to exercise greater self-care, attend to your body, learn about those highly introverted or extroverted characteristics and how to harness them, or even get help assessing ADHD, depression, anxiety, desire to self-medicate, or whatever in order to function fully.
Need for interpersonal skills. You may need to communicate better and with a wider variety of people.
Or focus. Guidance in what is required on the job to stand out that also fits your talent. You may not have the right kind of guidance, mentoring, or coaching. Or you’ve never thought of reaching out. (Unconventional Creatives sometimes are snobs about asking for “help.” They see it as a weakness instead of a right. And that may be getting in your way. Hey, does it fit? Shooting yourself in the foot?)
It’s kind of complicated, isn’t it? And that’s the reason you may be blossoming a bit later while others seem to be advancing. Or they are out there creating a whole life and you’re still struggling with how to make a living or a satisfying career.
I want to help get you out of your pain and self-doubt and onto a more fulfilling path. Here are a few really important tips to get you started.
It’s Never Too Late. First off, let me tell you it’s never too late to get clear and pursue what makes you happy, fulfilled—so you can live your purpose. And have a good time doing it. I know, it’s hard not to judge yourself but this won’t do you one ounce of good. This may sound like tough love, and it is—what’s important is that you face your uniqueness and the challenges that accompany being this way so you can help yourself blossom.
Face your gaps with expert help.
Give yourself some time to make the change, but be persist.
Seek expert help to gain clarity, get on purpose, connect with
right relationships and bring your unique talents
into the work world.
These steps will accelerate your efforts.
You’re worth it.

– Dr. Jan Hoistad

Embrace Your Quirkiness. Come to terms with your uniqueness. Get clear about how it manifests, what works and what doesn’t work in your life. Feedback from a great coach who understands unique self-expression, creativity and who thinks outside the box, yet who can help you balance responsibility and spontaneity will save you years of sorrow and frustration.
Get Over Yourself and Get On Purpose. It’s only when you can clearly explore, in a safe environment, Where You Are (and uncover what’s not working) that you can create a realistic vision and plan of Where You Want to Go. And then, with your coach, you have the assistance, accountability, cheerleader, hand-holder, butt-kicker, and vision-holder as you create, design, sculpt the steps you need to get you to your goal.
You don’t need to fit in everywhere. You may just need to find the people, work, and create a life in which your uniqueness can flourish. However, you just might find that your boss, co-workers, and friends may be amazed. And if not, you and your coach should then be working to get you into a new job situation-one that’s more compatible.
Put Judgments Aside. This is a crucial step if you are going to change and get out of your familiar rut. Change requires being objective and open-mind, even about yourself. It also requires not falling into blaming others or acting like a victim. That passivity will get you nowhere. You have a tough old pattern to crack, so start where you are. Forgive the younger person you were and maturely make a commitment to yourself to learn a new way that will allow you to flourish. Having a wise guide who can remind you of this while not babying you along the way will save you time.
Role Models and Missing Steps. Unconventional-Creatives who are late bloomers need to fill in learning gaps. You need to learn the steps and develop the strategies that will get you to your goal. First to identify that goal. Or establish a plan for experimenting and exploring until it becomes clearer. Then expert help can assist in determining just what gaps are in your way. Expert help will also assist you in strategizing a plan—steps to get you where you need and want to go.
You can’t do this alone. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Turn to coaches, mentors, teachers who know how to help unconventional highly creative folks like you. Especially if you feel way behind, blooming-on-the-vine, and want to catch up to YourSelf!
Choose All Your Relationships Wisely. You need relationships that support you and your uniqueness, both personally and professionally. Too wild and crazy may be exciting but it’s going to distract you and burn you out. Too traditional will zap your energy. Some good solid responsibility, stability peppered with quirkiness is probably a recipe to achieve.
I hope this is helpful if you are having difficulty gaining traction in your career. Take the ideas and tips to heart, don’t forget to persevere, be consistent, (and patient!) and find some expert coaching as you make the changes and fill in your gaps.
One highly frustrated, highly talented unconventional creative changed her career story. She says:
I engaged Jan to help me with a big career transition. She helped me see opportunities and take a path that I never thought I would. It’s worked out so well, I couldn’t have gotten where I am now without her help.

Please share your needs and experiences. Reach out for a conversation. Let’s move you forward!

Additional Business, Career & Relationship Resources

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Dr. Jan Hoistad